So I was just reading a bit of Art and Fear today over lunch, I’ve started reading it again from the beginning, and as is often the case it feels different now than it did a year ago. You can’t step in the same river twice.
What I noticed now is that the first chapter begins by delineating the very same trouble that Elizabeth Gilbert identifies – namely the difficulty of making art and staying sane when faced with a society that doesn’t understand or particularly care for or support artists:
It may have been easier to paint bison on the cave walls long ago than to write this (or any other) sentence today. Other people, in other times and places, had some robust institutions to shore them up: Witness the Church, the clan, the ritual, tradition. It’s easy to imagine that artists doubted their calling less when working in the service of God that when working in the service of self…
-Bayles & Orland, 1993
Which made me immediately think of this Banksy piece:
Okay, back to my lunch now.